This document provides a suggested outline for facilitating a group session where teachers can use the explicit instruction in maths video to reflect on their own practice. It could also provide guidance for activities for self-directed professional reflection. 

This resource was created by Ochre Education in partnership with AERO. 

The activities in the resource aim to:

  • build knowledge of explicit instruction (particularly opportunities for practice) and of AERO’s guidance in this area
  • assist in developing teaching strategies involving explicit instruction
  • encourage teachers to embed explicit instruction in their practice.

Australian Professional Standards

This resource is related to ‘Focus Area 6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice’. 

This resource is related to ‘Professional Practice 2 Developing self and others’ in the Australian Professional Standards for Principals.

Facilitator preparation

The following is an example checklist to help you prepare for the session.

Review the materials

  • Watch the explicit instruction in maths video. Note down any key points that would be valuable for your team and any aspects that need clarification.

Plan the session

  • Make sure to give your team sufficient notice about the session so they have time to do the pre-work.
  • Consider how the session can specifically assist your school and your students.
  • Think about what you want your staff to be able to do as a result of this session. For instance: identify opportunities for practice, or design a useful opportunity for practice. 

Consider how change will be promoted in your school

  • How might teachers plan for practice, and whether there are ways for teachers to share the practice opportunities they have developed.

Prepare to facilitate

  • Read through this resource and highlight the key elements and the questions you plan to ask.
  • ‘Road-test’ the session with one of your colleagues to clarify any aspects of explicit instruction that you are unsure about and to make sure you are confident with each step.

'Explicit instruction in maths' video

In this video, Sue Davis explains how she uses explicit instruction in her maths lessons.

Attendee preparation

The following is an example checklist of pre-session work to set participants before they attend.

  • Read AERO’s explicit instruction practice guide.
  • Identify a lesson in which you have provided students an opportunity for practice, and what form that practice took.

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Explicit instruction learning session agenda

The following outlines a possible agenda for a 45 minute group session.

Information about how to do an Acknowledgement of Country can be found on the Reconciliation Australia website. 

Review key aspects of AERO’s Explicit instruction Tried and Tested guide with a focus on providing opportunities to practise

  • Practice should be focused on using what students have learned.
  • Make sure that students have multiple opportunities to practise skills and knowledge learnt in the lesson.
  • Actively supervise practice and provide elaboration, feedback and explanation as needed.

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Think about your own teaching practice

  • How do you use explicit instruction in your practice now?

Focus on strengths

  • What do you think we do well?
  • What aspects of explicit instruction are you not so sure about?
  • Are there parts of it that you use less in your current instruction?

Think, pair, share

In this video, Sue Davis explains how she uses explicit instruction in her maths lessons.

  • What is something that you learnt from watching this teacher discuss opportunities for practice?
  • Was there anything in the video that you found surprising?
  • How important do you think planning and preparing the opportunities for practice in advance is?
  • Do we have to have students practise every time they learn something new? How do we decide when we provide opportunities for practice and what that practice might look like?

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What additional support would help you to plan deliberate and purposeful practice?

Post-session review

This could be in the form of another meeting, online session, peer coaching session or some other format agreed by the group.

  • Share and review the practice activities each team member shared with the team, if they are happy for this to happen.
  • Reconvene the team after several weeks to review key aspects of Explicit instruction (with a focus on opportunities for practice) and to share experiences. Questions to ask could include:
    • What changes to practice have been relatively simple?
    • What parts have been challenging for you?
    • How can the school assist you to implement explicit instruction in your classroom?

Meeting reflection

It is important for you to reflect on the session and the progress of your team. The following questions can help you think about the outcomes and next steps for improving the quality and consistency of explicit instruction practice.

  • Were there differences in expertise between members of the group?
  • Are there members of the team who you felt left the meeting still a little unsure of what effective practice looks like? What could you do to follow up and provide support?
  • What are the aspects of opportunities for practice that require further learning?
  • What parts of the session worked well for the group?
  • What aspects were less successful?